January 26, 2016

How To Be Alone

Living alone is something everyone will deal with at least for a brief period of their lives. Some people like the solitude of living alone and some really hate the idea of not having anyone nearby. For the past few weeks, since returning from Christmas break, I have been alone in the apartment (save for my helper Riza and Aggi, of course) because Mom had to stay in the States on business. This is the first time I've had to actually live on my own, paying bills, going grocery shopping, cooking, keeping myself alive etc. all on my own (with tremendous help from Riza, of course). It's been a little preview of adult life and, to be honest, it really hasn't been all smooth sailing. It gets pretty lonely sometimes, living alone, so I've devised a few tips and tricks on how to be alone.

Get a pet -- Pets help everyone feel less lonely, dogs especially! (Says the biased dog-lover) Even just having Aggi puttering around on Sundays when Riza is home and I truly am alone is comforting. It's also a good reminder that there is someone around that depends on you to walk it, feed it, take care of it. It gives you a reason to get out of bed.

Pick up a hobby or a sport -- Every weekend, people with unique cars all drive to the same Coffee Bean down the block from my house and sit for all of the morning just chattering away and looking at the cars. They all just found each other, realized a common interest, and the ritual was born. Find people you have something in common with, have Sunday brunch with a friend every Sunday at a new place, take up a sport, join a book club, walk your dog or your kids around the park with someone else....simple things really that get you interacting with others.

Volunteer -- Mom and I have been volunteering at an orphanage for a long time and the four hours we spend there on Saturdays are some of the happiest of my week. Volunteering is a great way to find people that have the same interests as you, the same passions, and you're doing something to help others!
Get out -- Sitting inside the house, especially when the weather is gorgeous, is a waste of the day. Go for a long walk around your neighborhood or, if the weather is nice, go for a swim at the pool. I'm lucky to live near High Street in BGC so when I take Aggi for her long Saturday walks we're always part of a crowd. It's a nice bit of chaos in a day that's mostly me singing along to my Mamma Mia! soundtrack (which is a blast btw).

Go on a date with yourself -- I know, I know...every Cosmo 'how to love yourself' article ever advice but I still recommend it. If doing things like going out to dinner by yourself give you the heebie jeebies (they do for me anyway) you could always order your favorite food in or take it to go and eat it at home, take it to a park and eat it on a picnic blanket....something I think is a great idea would be going to the farmers' market on Saturday morning and taking your time to walk around, talk to the vendors, find some really great local produce and baked goods 
Get your chores done -- If you're like most people and don't have time to get to the grocery store or the drug store or drop off your dry cleaning during the week, make a schedule and do it on the weekends! It's not the most fun activity but you'll be around people and you'll be out of the house.!

Enjoy the solitude -- During the week I'm always around people, which I do enjoy-I love being around my friends and classmates at school, but come weekend nights with nothing else to do it is nice to relax and not have to talk to anyone....catch up on your tv that you've DVR'd through the week, read a book, take a bath, relax!
Make plans -- Make plans with friends during the week for the weekend. Go to a movie or a concert, have a baking date, have them help you organize your closet-anything!

Recognize that you're not alone 100% of the day -- unless you absolutely do not leave your home at all and nobody comes in or out, you will be around and interact with people. Realizing this, and making it something to look forward to, helps deal with feelings of being alone.

What do you do to feel less lonely?


Ps-I'm off to Hong Kong for 5 days for APAC Swimming tomorrow morning so I won't be posting for a few days. Last APAC ever!! See you guys in 5 days!

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